I actually got a real kick out of Watch Dogs. It's got the most boring protagonist ever, and it's overstuffed with content, but you can pick and choose your way through that. Moreover, as boring as Aiden is, the stuff he can do is pretty cool, and there's nothing quite like sticking on the Blues Brothers soundtracks and tearing it up on the roads of Chicago.
You can click here to read our Watch Dogs review. Thanks oUkTuRkEyIII!
Didn't like the look of Assassin's Creed: Unity? Don't let it put you off the series! Black Flag is basically a new-gen, more murderous, stealthy, parkour-packed version of Sid Meier's Pirates! If you use the 5% off Facebook voucher at CDKeys, you can get Bl;ack Flag on Xbox One for just £12.34.
NB. Do bear in mind that this is a digital download code.
If you're looking to snap up a decent Assassin's Creed: Unity deal for Christmas, it's worth noting that CDKeys have started selling codes for digital downloads on consoles now. As such, if you use the 5% off Facebook voucher, you can get Assassin's Creed: Unity on Xbox One for under £30.
NB. Do bear in mind that this is a digital download code.
I didn't really think much of Assassin's Creed: Unity (click here to check out our ACU review), but evidently my fellow critics did, and it has its fair share of fans out there. This is a damn fine price for the game on console right now.
Assassin's Creed: Unity is a beautiful game. Sat atop the towers of Notre Dame, it's hard not to admire the scale of the Paris that Ubisoft Montreal have painstakingly recreated here. Perhaps more so than in any other Assassin's Creed game to date -- the edifices and porticos of Rome excepted -- Unity captures the essence of its setting perfectly. The streets throng with disgruntled citizens, loudly bemoaning everything under the sun in snippets of French. The power of the new-gen consoles has been harnessed spectacularly when it comes to populating the streets, and in later stages, when the guillotine blades start to fall and the masses crowd round to watch the bloody spectacles, the sheer number of NPCs onscreen boggles the mind.
Unity is a game that also seeks to fix some of the issues of previous instalments in the series. Arno, the game's protagonist, can now free-run up and down, depending on the button you're holding. It means that accidental, suicidal plunges are now largely a thing of the past, and that scampering around the city needn't see Arno climb atop the clutter rather than bounding over or sliding under obstacles. It's a system that works relatively well, even if it does take a little bit of getting used to. That Arno will still clamber onto low-slung tables when you're just holding down the sprint trigger is a bit annoying, but at least there's a quick, safe way of getting down from high places that don't have convenient straw piles lying in wait for a Leap of Faith.
Continuing on, it seems ludicrous that a series that sees you engage in clandestine murder should have lacked a dedicated crouch or "stealth" button for this long, but Ubisoft have finally fixed that. Now it's possible to slink about restricted areas in the manner of a cartoon robber, and you can snap in and out of cover at the touch of a button. There's also a dedicated button for helping you slip in through a window rather than jumping up and bypassing it completely as might have been the case before.
The combat system has been made clearer and more readily defined too. Instead of watching the behaviour of your enemies, you can now parry attacks easily thanks to massive, glowing indicators that tell you when you should execute the perfect parry, and when an unblockable attack is coming so you can roll deftly out of harm's way. Pleasingly enough, it feels more solid than combat in recent years, but it's still not really a patch on Ezio's finest work.
In fact, none of it is.
In fact, it's making me think ever more fondly of Assassin's Creed 3, and that's not a good sign.Click here to read more...
Far Cry 4's opening is a bit brilliant, really. In fact, for sheer insanity, I'd go so far as to say that it tops its predecessor by a significant margin. You thought Vaas was a bit of a live wire? Well, he doesn't have a thing on Pagan Min.
We'll have our Far Cry 4 review for you soon, but in the interim, here's a look at the game's first 20 mins.
Those of you with current-gen consoles looking for a last minute bargain ahead of Far Cry 4's release tomorrow should take note of this deal from Tesco Direct. By using the voucher code below, the price falls to the cheapest we've seen for a pre-order, and will save you around £7 compared to the next best offer. Do bear in mind that the code will only work with new accounts.
The Limited Edition comes with the Hurk's Redemption missions, which apparently provides an extra hour of gameplay and a harpoon gun. We'll be delivering our official verdict later this week, but considering how impressed Jon was with the way Far Cry 4 goes between the relatively-realistic open world sandbox and a spiritual dimension where you have a tiger at your command, it's almost safe to say that if you enjoyed its predecessor you'll find some fun in this instalment. Thanks to Assassin82 @ HUKD!
Remember when Ubisoft said they didn't have the resources to include female character models for the co-op mode Assassin's Creed Unity? Well, Ubi, what the hell are these two doing? I'm pretty sure those are boobs.
It would seem Ubisoft found enough 'resources' to include a bit of eye-candy around the Brotherhood. To be fair, it doesn't look like these two are using the 8000 animations that apparently would have been required to include female character models in the co-op mode.
But on the other hand, how many of those animations are used already for Elise who has numerous in-game appearances alongside Arno. So far, we've seen her fight and run, but admittedly no climbing. But we're thinking a large proportion of the work must have been done already.
We've heard that Ubi just didn't have the resources to do all the mo-cap sessions again with female actors/parkour athletes who we're led to believe move differently to their male counterparts. Considering all the rough edges found in Assassin's Creed Unity though, we're going to have to call bullshit there. If only Ubisoft had had some experience of creating a female Assassin before, maybe for a spinoff or something? Oh wait...
Would any of us really have noticed if the male animations were used for female character models? A slight change of outfit and maybe some round shapes under their tops (we're not asking for Dead or Alive esque boob physics) and you're away. Sure, I've over-simplified it somewhat, but I'm probably not as far off as you'd think either.Click here to read more...
Every Sunday, we'll be diving into the Dealspwn archives to bring you an article or review from yesteryear. This week, with Assassin's Creed: Unity making headlines for many an unfortunate reason, we take a look back at the adventures of Arno's predecessor -- Ezio Auditore -- and his exploits in Rome. We gave Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood full marks back in 2010 for building on the outstanding strengths of ACII, and even today it's difficult not to climb to the top of the Colosseum, hit the Synchronise button and not have the game take your breath away.
How about you, dear reader? What's been your favourite Assassin's Creed game?
* * *
Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (Reviewed)
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Assassin’s Creed II was one of the best games of last year. Lavishly presented, gloriously rendered, vast in scope and epic draw distance, it was period parkour pièce de résistance that trumped the original game in virtually every capacity and set Ubisoft’s Templar-bashing series up as true triple-A material.
To consider Assassin’s Creed II’s pedigree is to be somewhat surprised that Brotherhood has emerged so quickly, a mere year later. I sidelined the game to the apathetic corners of my mind, the various preview events rather more intent on showing off a quirky new multiplayer mode (something I’d never been sure the series needed...more on that later) than progressing the singleplayer freedom of Desmond and his ancestors. I assumed that Brotherhood – much like ODST had been for the Halo series (which, ironically, I loved) – would simply be a stopgap in between ‘proper’ games.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Brotherhood picks up right where Assassin’s Creed II left off – lots of patting of backs, a joyous family reunion, Ezio charming random townspeople, and everyone swooning over the shiny old MacGuffin that is the Apple of Eden. Of course, it’s not long before the Borgia family come knocking at Ezio’s door, clearly ticked off at the young Florentine’s actions in the last game, trashing his town and nicking all of his stuff.Click here to read more...
Assassin's Creed: Unity has sort of taken over my life at the moment. It's a vast game, and vast in a really good way in that it's packed with things to do. It's not like AC3, where you had this vast expanse of mundane nothingness. Mind you, at least AC3 really made you feel like you were a key, shadowy part of history -- Unity somehow manages to make one of the most interesting, politically-murky periods in history little more than window dressing.
Yep, you read that right; Assassin's Creed: Unity has actually given me a newfound appreciation of AC3. Didn't expect that.
Unity is a game stuffed with contradictions -- for every positive there's a negative, for every step forward there's something that undermines the game and whatever it's trying to do. It's a game that has instilled an enormous sense of ambivalence in me. On the one hand, there are things that I love about it, new elements that I want to see furthered and expanded upon. In some ways it does represent the first in a new era of Assassin's Creed games. On the other hand, however, I'm sort of sick of the sight of it, such are this game's long list of sins.
For the sake of balance, here are five things I'm currently loving and loathing about Unity...Click here to read more...
Two games have dominated headlines over the last 24 hours: Just Cause 3 and Assassin's Creed Unity. One a hero, one a villain, both perfect examples of how insane and toxic microtransaction culture has become.
To be perfectly clear, I don't have a problem with micro-transactions in cut-price or F2P games. They allow us to cherry-pick the content we want and spend however much money we want, while developers deserve to be paid for their effort. There's nothing wrong with that.
Unfortunately, when shoved into a game that already set you back £30-£50, something has gone horribly wrong.
Click here to read more...
We call it how we see it here on Dealspwn. We've frequently castigated EA for anti-consumer practices; we berated Microsoft for their failures in communication and advocacy of DRM back in the days of Don Mattrick, who sort of sounds a little bit like the worst Mafioso ever; we lamented Nintendo's lunacy, waged war on WB snipping bits off of Shadow of Mordor, slammed industry cancers like on-disc DLC, ludicrous season passes, and the heady age of multiplayer serial codes.
Now it's Ubisoft's turn.
The French publisher has had a number of major screw-ups in the last twelve months, from trying to argue that one of the biggest studios in the world didn't have the resources to develop female characters, to charging £50 for standard PC games, to forcing Uplay into everything, to writing off 60 FPS as an industry standard. That last one is bitterly ironic considering that the jewel in their winter release slate -- Assassin's Creed: Unity -- appears to be laughably unable to hit 30 FPS on a consistent basis, let alone 60.
It's a far cry (sorry) from the company we all saw swoop into E3 last year and save everybody's bacon. This is the company that stuck by Rayman despite dismal sales, the company that (along with Obsidian, of course) finally brought us a South Park game that did the IP justice, these folks gave us Sid Meier's Assassin's Creed Pirates! Now, however, their biggest game of the year has been found out to be a buggy mess, their stringent, launch-day embargo lies in ridiculed ruins, and one wonders whether or not this will have a knock-on effect for Far Cry 4 and The Crew.
Where did it all go wrong?Click here to read more...
Assassin's Creed: Unity is a bit of a technical mess. We've already established that. Even given the hefty 900MB patch that greets you the second you fire up the game, it still has moments of hideous slowdown, dubious input recognition, and unsightly pop-in.
Were I to speculate, I'd posit that Unity is something of a rush job (despite having an alleged three years in development), which is a real shame, because it's actually got an awful lot going for it, especially in terms of setting and mission design and improvements t traversal that genuinely fix many of the long-standing concerns that fans have had for years.
There'll be more on all of that to come in subsequent articles and the review, which I hope to have ready by the time the game launches here in the UK on Friday.
For now, though, here's a look at Assassin's Creed: Unity's first twenty minutes of gameplay footage. Ladies and gents, it's time for opening scenes...Click here to read more...
UPDATE: It seems as though there may be framerate issues across all platforms, with NowGamer reporting Xbox One issues as well:
"I would like to warn anyone thinking about buying this game,” said thewouldbeking. “I got it with my Xbox bundle. I just started it, and it runs sub 30 frames per second constantly. I would advise to wait until its fixed or not buy it at all. It is practically unplayable.”
This is not an Assassin's Creed: Unity review. I'm technically not permitted to make any value judgements on the game until 5PM GMT this evening, and I've not finished it so I couldn't even if I were able. But the game is now out in the US, and something needs to be said about the state that the game is in.
Even after playing for just under ten hours, (UPDATE: To be clear, this original report was written after installing the ~900MB patch) it's clear that there are some glaring technical issues with Assassin's Creed: Unity.
In terms of technical execution, the game is an utter shambles on PS4 -- I can't speak first-hand regarding other versions. Glitches abound, responsiveness is laughable, the context-sensitive detection areas around interactive objects like key mission items and reward chests are patchy and inconsistent. The crowds are impressive, the game does a fine job of creating a visually engaging representation of Paris, but the framerate is horrible. Lengthy jumps see Arno hang in the air, crippling slowdown is everywhere (especially if you get into cover), and although the free-running repertoire and animation sets have been massively expanded, its not uncommon to see the framerate juddering down below the 15 fps mark.
At one point, I thought the whole game was going to crash, Arno pirouetting about in clunky slow-motion that certainly hadn't been triggered deliberately.Click here to read more...
UPDATE: Aaaaaand it's gone.
ORIGINAL: Before you ask, no - this doesn't include the upcoming Far Cry 4 - but every other entry in the Far Cry series is currently 75% over at Gamersgate. What that means is that the most expensive item is £5.00, or you can get everything in the back catalogue for just £13.50. I think we can all agree that's a lot of Far Cry for your money.
Obvious highlights are Far Cry 3 and its utterly barmy yet brilliant spin-off Blood Dragon, but those of you wishing to see how the open-world shooter series began will be able to for less than the price of a pint. It's admittedly a little dated now, but like I said - less than the price of a pint.
On this week's show, we talk about the latest Ubisoft fiasco, we chat about what we'd like to see from a new-gen Mass Effect collection, and we have a big, fat Halo love fest.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language
Ubisoft have confirmed that they won't be bringing their biggest hitters of this winter -- Assassin's Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, or The Crew -- to Steam, preferring instead that people pay £50 for these PC titles on Uplay or at partnered retailers.
So AC: Unity, Far Cry 4, and The Crew will be skipping Steam in the UK. Our take on the latest Ubisoft omnishambles http://t.co/KGt2635wXB
— Dealspwn (@Dealspwn) November 6, 2014
I gave my take on the matter earlier today, asking why on earth Ubisoft would shoot themselves in the feet like this. Is it to keep the markup on price? Does it have anything to do with any backroom deals between Ubisoft and their retail partners? Steam just won Platform of the Year at the Golden Joysticks with good reason -- its ubiquity on PC is powerful indeed. But maybe Ubisoft just wants to follow in EA's footsteps and consolidate their own online platform.
Needless to say, the internet was not happy.
Ubisoft just gave a big middle finger to its UK customers.
— Untimely Gamer (@untimelygamer) November 6, 2014
Ubisoft has gone the way of EA and won't be selling their new games on Steam anymore in the UK. Only UPlay. Urgghhh.
— Matt Collins (@Mattophobia) November 6, 2014
Click here to read more...
Ubisoft i am never buying a single game from you again You are the worst company in the industry
— RedDash16 (@RedDash16) November 6, 2014
I have a feeling Watch Dogs will be getting the Black Friday treatment very soon, but if you're a PS4 owner who can't wait that long GAME are matching Amazon's recent deal. It's not a huge saving compared to the next cheapest offer, but every little helps as they say. The Xbox One version of the Limited Edition is currently out of stock, but you can always get a standard copy for the same price if you're desperate.
In his review, Jon said that Watch Dogs was "a revolutionary sandbox that redefines player freedom and choice... that was subsequently eaten by a big bloated open-world game that takes less risks than it should." That said, it still manages to be an enjoyable game, and the inevitable sequel might live up to expectations. Or, at the very least, take more queues from the awesomeness that is Person Of Interest. Just saying. Thanks to ettienem1001 @ HUKD for the find!
Ubisoft have got a big winter release slate lined up, featuring three key titles in The Crew, Far Cry 4, and Assassin's Creed: Unity.
And it seems that none of them will be on Steam here in the UK this Christmas.
“We’ve been in discussions with Valve about ACU, Far Cry 4 and The Crew, but for the time being the games are not available via Steam in the UK. In the meantime, UK customers wishing to purchase either of these games digitally can do so by visiting the Uplay store, our retail partners or other digital distributors," Ubisoft told us in a statement this morning.
"ACU, Far Cry 4 and The Crew are available on Steam in other regions outside the UK."
A glance at the Uplay store reveals that Ubisoft have set their big hitters at a premium price on PC, with all three listed at £49.99, just a fiver short of their new-gen console equivalents, and thus it's easy to turn to pricing concerns as a reason for Ubisoft skipping out on Steam this season. Steam games rarely go above the £39.99 mark for regular versions, with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare currently set at that price point, as the most expensive game on the service. Ubisoft's own South Park: The Stick of Truth can also be seen on Steam for the same top price point of £39.99, despite having released over six months ago.
Ubisoft are not the first publisher to go this route. Since EA set up Origin, the likes of Battlefield, SimCity, and FIFA have all fetched elevated premium prices on the service, with the publisher clearly seeking to close the pricing gap between PC and console and maintain full control over pricing.
It seems as though that's exactly what's happening here.Click here to read more...
With less than two weeks to go until its release, this deal for Far Cry 4 is a mighty tempting offer. Given that Ubisoft seems hell-bent on charging top dollar for this (most digital partners are selling for £50!), snap this one up while you can.
The Limited Edition comes with the Hurk's Redemption missions, which apparently provides an extra hour of gameplay and a harpoon gun. Considering how impressed Jon was with the way Far Cry 4 goes between the relatively-realistic open world sandbox and a spiritual dimension where you have a tiger at your command, we have have every faith that Ubisoft will be able to match the quality of its predecessor. Please note that this deal will require a uPlay account to redeem and play. Thanks to greysquaill @ HUKD for the find!
Yet again, The Game Collection are doing a deal for ZombiU below the £5 price point. The saving may be only a few pounds, but let's be honest here - the fact one of the Wii U's most unique experiences is under a fiver is the important part here.
Ubisoft's survival horror title won’t be to everyone’s tastes (much like those Souls games) but those brave enough to venture into the virtual streets of London will find a game that absolutely nails the terror of surviving against the hordes of the undead. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!